Our party of 20 - Malcolm and Sue Acors, Chandra and Maya Gupta, Peter and Wendy Greene, Ed and Margaret Harrison, Mike and Liz Sinclair, James and Debbie Ilesley, Keith and Gillian Wood, Patrick and Carol Rothon, Roger and Sarah Kettle, and Peter and Jeanne Robbins met up at Gatwick in the early hours of Thursday morning. After an almost uneventful passage through security and passport control, and a speedy breakfast, we were on our way.
Bengt Norman, well known to us all from his visit to the UK exchange, and from last year’s visit to Beausoleil, was in charge of all the arrangements for the visit and met us, as expected, at Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. There was time for a quick snack before the 2 1/4 hour train journey to Karlshamn, on the southern coast of Sweden. Arrangements were faultless, we were met at Karlshamn station at the appointed time, and conveyed by Karlshamn Rotary Club members in their own cars to the “First Hotel” in the centre of Karlshamn, where we were all speedily checked in.
With four hours free time, most of the party opted for a walk around the town, taking routes down “Queen Street” for the shopping and the local tourist spots, while others took the riverside route. What a surprise - both ended up at the same riverside bistro for a few drinks and crisps. Then it was back to the hotel for a quick freshen up before all five visiting clubs - Alba (Italy), Basildon (UK), Beausoleil (France), Billericay (UK), Ovada (Italy) - assembled in a hotel conference room for a welcome and a review of the Program, before retiring to the restaurant for a light meal (or “not such a light meal” as Bengt remarked!), laid on by our hosts.
.... and so to bed.
Salmon fishing in Mörrum (not Yemen!)
An early start on Friday for the local public bus to Mörrum, site of the salmon fishing facility 6 miles away. Once there, we split into two groups, one toured the museum to learn about the site - there had been fishing here since 1231 AD. The other group crossed the river to see net-fishing and live salmon in the fish tanks. We all met up for a coffee and a cake before retracing the other group's steps. Verdict - an informative and interesting visit.
Back at Karlshamn and we were all guests of the Rotary Club of Karlshamn at their weekly Friday lunch time meeting. A welcome from President Mrs Maivor Johnsson, and responses from the Presidents of all the visiting clubs, and an exchange of Rotary club pennants and gifts. Finally, a delicious buffet lunch at the Gourmet Restaurant Grön and a few hours of free time to wander round the town and view the sights, .... and somehow back at that same bistro!
Heard the one about the Englishman, the Italian and the Swede?
That evening, it was “Home Hosting” by our Karlshamn fellow Rotarians as we were all split into multi-national groups to be entertained and fed in a true Karlshamn home. Fellowship, hospitality, great food, great conversation (sometimes with the aid of a iPhone Translation “App”). Brilliant evenings.
And so to bed!
A 45 minute coach ride to the marine museum at Karlskrona, to the east of Karlshamn. Again we were split into two groups, each with a Guide, to make the numbers manageable, while some opted for a self-service tour using the “App” in English, downloadable from the Museum website. A fascinating insight into Swedish naval development plus exhibits from the cold war era, complete with a simulation experience (which some of us tried) to pilot a warship out of harbour under gale conditions!
After local Swedish dishes from the buffet in the Museum restaurant, we had time for a tour of the submarine shed featuring Sweden’s first submarine, the Hajen, dating from 1904, and the cold war era Neptun (which we were able to board) dwarfing the older Hajen. “Awesome!” as our American friends would say.
A Gala Celebration
A short walk in the rain from the hotel to the restaurant, to be greeted by a crowded bar, and an elegantly laid out dining area complete with white table cloths, candelabras, and a really buzzing atmosphere. Our Swedish hosts produced a table plan mixing English, Swedish, French and Italians and ensuring we had new table companions. After a short introduction and welcome from Bengt, we were all seated, drinks orders were taken and a short welcome address by Karlshamn President Maivor set us up nicely for our meal.
Pretty soon conversation was flowing across the national divides, and we were all enjoying the fellowship and the good food and drink.
What else? Time for presentation of gifts from the visiting club Presidents to our hosts, and short speeches of appreciation for such a well-run and not over stressful Program.
Final event of the evening - each club led the group in a typical song from their country, in which everybody joined in gustily. The culmination, a choir from the Karlshamn club treating us, ... and what a treat, to a beautiful local song.
And then home
Sunday was the last day, and just time for a presentation on a renowned Swedish children’s composer native to Karlshamn, and a talk by a resurrected Lars Olsson Smith, famed Karlshamn industrialist and inventor of “Absolut” Vodka. Then train and plane and car home!
What a trip!
And that wasn't all - A christmas Card from our hosts Bengt and Kersten in Karlshamn to the whole club:
"Dear Rotary friends,
Hoping you all are fine and that you in the far south enjoy your "summer" weather. In Sweden, we have an unusual warmth for the season, but the darkness is not unusal - and there is no snow to enlighten us!"
On Friday, 1 January 2016, 20:07, Paolo Saredi (BREBANCA) <email@example.com> wrote:
My best wishes For a wonderful 2016 to all of you.
Tanti auguri !
President of Rotary club of Alba
more We have received an invitation from the Rotary Club of Karlshamn for the Double Triangular visit to take place September 8-11, 2022.
more We all appreciated the opportunity to “meet” with members from our sister clubs over Zoom after such a long break.
more President Peter and Member Patrick Rothon completed a ZOOM presentation on the Rotary Club of Billericay Soapbox Derby to Belmont Rotary Club near Melbourne, Australia.
more Our twinned clubs in Sweden, Italy and France are locked down like the UK, but are still busy supporting their members and their local community. Here France reports on life under lockdown in France.
more Our twinned clubs in Sweden, Italy and France are locked down like the UK, but are still busy supporting their members and their local community. Here Italy reports on life under lockdown in Italy.
more Our twinned clubs in Sweden, Italy and France are locked down like the UK, but are still busy supporting their members and their local community. Here Sweden reports on life under lockdown in Sweden.
more Highspot of the Rotary Year, the annual twinning visit to one of our linked clubs in Mainland Europe is delayed but international web meetings planned.
more Rotary principles in action- International Fellowship and co-operation on charitable projects with the Rotary Club of Basildon and four Rotary Clubs in Europe - Beausoleil (France), Alba (Italy), Ovada (Italy), and Karlshamn (Sweden).
more It’s time again for the forthcoming double triangular reunion of Rotarians, so called because it brings together Members from six different Rotary Clubs in four countries.
more Rotary principles at work - International Fellowship with the Rotary Club of Basildon and four Rotary Clubs in Europe - Beausoleil (France), Alba (Italy), Ovada (Italy), and Karlshamn (Sweden).
more Double Triangular Reunion of British, French, Italian and Swedish Rotary clubs
more Our annual international Rotary reunion of six clubs from the UK, Italy, France and Sweden took place in Alba, Northern Italy in September 2016
more As part of the international fellowship with other Rotary Clubs, we send our newsletter to all our "twinned" clubs. In return, they send their latest news bulletins to us.
more It's 2015 and time for our Fellowship trip to Karlshamn, Sweden.
more A major feature of the twinning visits between our clubs is the hosting of visiting club members and their wives by individual Beausoleil Club members at their homes.
more Following our hosting of the twinning visit in 2013, Billericay Rotary Club enjoyed a wonderful programme in France this year, hosted by the Rotary Club of Beausoleil, along with Basildon, Alba and Ovada (Italy), Karlshamn (Sweden), from September 18-21.
more Everybody enjoyed a wonderful programme of social and historical events when Billericay Rotary Club hosted a reciprocal visit from its twinning clubs in Europe - Beausoleil (France), Alba (Italy), and Karlshamn (Sweden), from September 12-15.
more 2012 sees the turn of the Rotary club of Alba to host its twinned clubs of Billericay, Basildon and Beausoleil (France) for a programm of events and fellowship.
more A great day visiting the Houses of Parliament with fellow Rotarians from Italy, Sweden and France, organised by Basildon Rotary Club.
back We have had international links with other Rotary Clubs in Europe since the mid 1960s. Starting with Beausoleil in 1965 these links have grown to encompass Italy (Alba), Sweden (Karlshamn) and Italy (Ovada Del Centenario) in more recent years.